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Kindness Is Not Kid Stuff

The most outstanding phenomenon I took home from our first vacation cruise was about people. It was not the Alaskans, nor the Tlingit Indians; it was not our family, nor our fellow travelers. It was the paid help on the "Radiance of the Sea" cruise ship! This included waiters, room service folks, janitorial staff, greeters, clerks — everybody. There were no exceptions.

They were uniformly and consistently friendly, warm, and personable. If you passed any of them under any circumstance, you received eye contact, a smile, and kind words. Such greetings were never offered mechanically, nor without apparent genuineness. It was amazing! It was wonderful!

There was no obvious way to ascribe the exceptional behavior as being generated. Therefore, it had to be prescribed conduct, directed by management of the cruise line. It had to be mandatory, high priority, prescribed behavior, because it was always there and it was seldom half-hearted. Nevertheless — even though the friendliness was required—it still felt wonderful to us.

So what is my point? The head, not the heart, generates these warm connections, but the effect is the same. Spirits are lifted, discouragement healed, sick-hearts feel cheered. The recipients are left feeling positive about their entire experience, in no small part because of the warmth and friendliness exhibited.

Warmth and friendliness make people feel good. Cheerfulness and kind words are a blessing to people. My point is that we don’t have to be ‘directed’ to behave this way by our boss; we don’t have to behave this way because it is ‘expected’ of us — we can do it of our own volition, in gratitude for the loving kindness given to us by Christ! We can bless the people we meet, the people we work with, and the people we are with socially by being kind to them in these ways.

My point is that kindness is not kid stuff! Don’t discount it. It is very much for adults. As Christians, it is very much for us. Let’s do it more !!


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